WA Lawmaker Abandons Medical Marijuana Proposals
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WA Lawmaker Abandons Medical Marijuana Proposals
Posted by CN Staff on May 24, 2011 at 10:55:17 PT
By Mike Baker, Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press 
Olympia, WA -- A Democratic lawmaker who had been pushing for legal recognition of medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington state abandoned her efforts Tuesday and called the setback the greatest disappointment of her career in Olympia.The Legislature does not have enough time to find and pass a compromise bill before the end of the special session on Wednesday, said Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle. She had previously ushered a full package of proposals all the way to the governor, only to have Gov. Chris Gregoire veto large portions of it.
Kohl-Welles said she regrets not being able to secure the approval of even limited regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries."By far, this represents the greatest disappointment of my legislative career," Kohl-Welles said.An initial proposal that lawmakers had approved included a statewide regulatory system for licensing medical marijuana producers, processers and dispensaries. But Gregoire vetoed the measure after federal prosecutors warned that state employees would not be immune from prosecution.Kohl-Welles then pushed two other proposals to allow local jurisdictions to regulate dispensaries, but neither made it out of committee. The failed measures also means there will not be a statewide registry of marijuana patients — something designed to give them protection from arrest.Medical marijuana dispensaries are not specifically allowed nor forbidden under current state statutes, although they are now operating in much of the state. Proponents of the legal changes contend that patients with terminal or debilitating conditions do not have the ability or resources to grow their own marijuana, so they believe retail-like access is needed to prevent a black market.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Mike Baker, Associated Press Published: May 24, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Associated PressCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 24, 2011 at 16:39:34 PT
Gov. Jan Brewer Wants To Put MMJ Plan on Hold
May 24, 2011Arizona -- Gov. Jan Brewer announced Tuesday afternoon that she has put Arizona’s implementation of the state’s medical marijuana law on hold pending the outcome of a lawsuit to be filed by Attorney General Tom Horne requesting a declaratory judgment from the federal government.If the federal court agrees to take the case, a declaratory judgment would determine whether Arizona’s state law is in conflict with the federal laws regarding marijuana.This is in response to a May 2 letter from U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke to the Arizona Department of Health Services, wherein he maintained that marijuana, regardless of state laws that permit its medical use, remains classified as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance and that those who grow, distribute or posses the drug would be in violation of federal law and would be “vigorously” prosecuted.“The state of Arizona has worked to follow the wishes of voters,” Brewer said in a news release. “But I won’t stand aside while state employees and average Arizonans acting in good faith are unwittingly put at risk. In light of the explicit warnings on this issue offered by Arizona’s U.S. Attorney, as well as many other federal prosecutors, clarity and judicial direction are in order.”Proponents of the law argue this is an attempt to prevent the law’s implementation.“We cannot think of a single individual — aside from possibly illegal drug dealers — who would benefit from Gov. Brewer’s actions today,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, in a separate news release. “She has done a disservice to her state and its citizens.” ...Copyright: 2011 Phoenix Business Journal URL:
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